Updates to Response Protocols

Goulais Fire & Rescue Volunteers recently made some changes to our response protocols: ​ Prior to July 4th 2017, GFR responded to every medical call for assistance in our community. This meant that if you called for an ambulance, GFR was dispatched as well. Some of these calls are truly life threatening emergencies and some are not. At times we were sent to toothaches, sore backs and nausea. While these events are uncomfortable and require treatment, ultimately these people were looking for an ambulance; not an emergency first response team like GFR. Unfortunately these calls for service have been increasing over the past few years and our call volume has increased by about 30%. This increase meant that our volunteers were leaving their work, families and homes 4-5 times per week (sometimes per day) to respond to calls that we really couldn't help with. On average these responses take at least an hour from start to finish,and often longer depending on their location. As such we were feeling the effects of burnout and needed to make some changes for the well being of our members and the organization as a whole. Working closely with our dispatch centre and Sault Ste. Marie E.M.S. We developed a new response policy that will see us only dispatched to the life threatening emergencies in the community. Furthermore GFR will not be dispatched to the lower acuity calls like the ones listed above. This is a pilot project and can be reversed or modified as needed. If you are concerned about this change to our level of service, please contact us and let us know. If we don't hear about your concerns, we can't do anything to address them. This organization exists for the sole purpose of serving the community and we strive to meet or exceed the public's expectations. Jeff Bowen Fire Chief

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